Is Kendrick Lamar the Grammy frontrunner for Best Music Video? He contends for “Humble,” which is one of seven nominations for the acclaimed rapper this year. What’s more, Lamar just swept the MTV Video Music Awards in August. But does victory at the VMAs necessarily translate to the Grammys?
“Humble” won Video of the Year and Best Hip-Hop Video at the VMAs, both awards decided by fans voting online. But It also dominated the professional categories that were decided by music experts: Best Direction, Best Art Direction, Best Cinematography, and Best Visual Effects. However, the VMAs and the Grammys have a mixed track record when it comes to agreeing on the best videos of the year. In the last 10 years the two awards have only agreed four times: “Bad Romance” by Lady Gaga, “We Found Love” by Rihanna and Calvin Harris, “Bad Blood” by Taylor Swift and Lamar, and “Formation” by Beyonce.
The good news for Lamar is that the wins for “Bad Blood” and “Formation” came in the last two years, so perhaps the recording academy is coming around to the MTV audience’s way of thinking. And the fact that Lamar won this prize for “Bad Blood” means an additional victory for “Humble” would be historic: currently Johnny Cash, Peter Gabriel, Janet Jackson, and Michael Jackson share the record for the most victories with two apiece, so Lamar could join that exclusive group.
But Lamar faces two videos for songs that also have strong support from the recording academy. Jay-Z is the most nominated artist of the year and his video for “The Story of O.J.” is up for this award. The animated clip is intensely confrontational in its use of black stereotypes to explore racism, and the song is also up for Record of the Year so it’s a message that certainly resonated with voters.
“1-800-273-8255” by Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid also resonated with voters as it’s also nominated for Song of the Year, and its music video is cinematic, reminiscent of Oscar-winner “Moonlight” in its depiction of a teenager struggling with his sexuality and depression. It features a starry cast including Don Cheadle, Matthew Modine, Luis Guzman, and “Modern Family” star Nolan Gould. Like “Story of O.J.” it deals with socially relevant topics, though in a markedly different way.
Rounding out this category are “Up All Night” by Beck and “Makeba” by Jain. This is the first nomination in this category for both artists, though it’s hardly the first Grammy nomination for Beck, who has won five awards out of 16 previous bids. French singer-songwriter Jain, however, is nominated for the very first time at the Grammys. Can either of them overtake the heavy-hitters in this contest?
Be sure to make your Grammy predictions so that Hollywood record executives and top name stars can see how their songs and albums are faring in our Grammy odds. Don’t be afraid to jump in now since you can keep changing your predictions until just before winners are announced on January 28. And join in the fierce debate over the 2018 Grammys taking place right now with Hollywood insiders in our music forums. Read more Gold Derby entertainment news.